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The Local _ Life in Sweden _ Waldorf Schools in Sweden

Posted by: englishlassie 4.Feb.2011, 12:21 PM

Hi,

We are thinking of moving to Sweden from the UK and was wondering if anyone has had any experience (positive and negative) of the Waldorf Schools in Sweden? Thanks smile.gif

Posted by: Puffin 4.Feb.2011, 12:58 PM

There are lots of Waldorf free schools in Sweden - but unlike the UK they are required to follow the Swedish National Curriculum if they take kommun funding and therefore must offer schooling free of charge

There is a list of schools as well as more information on the Waldorf School Association
http://www.waldorf.se/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=4

Posted by: Streja 4.Feb.2011, 01:44 PM

I went for a job interview once at one and it was so bad. They only employ teachers who think it's fair to be paid 14 000 kr a month the head master explained. As a result, most of the teachers are not qualified and the language lesson I witnessed was a joke.

Posted by: mikewhite 4.Feb.2011, 01:55 PM

I have heard of Montessori schools but not these ones. What is their (yes, -eir) USP ?

Posted by: Nomark 4.Feb.2011, 04:08 PM

Some interesting background reading on Steiner Waldorf schools:
http://www.dcscience.net/?p=3528

Posted by: englishlassie 4.Feb.2011, 07:02 PM

Interesting. There are a few schools in the UK that are free now and working with the gov't and I think compromises had to be made.

I believe some schools are bad, but some are also good and I had heard the big one in Goteburg was a good one.

Off to read the links - thanks smile.gif

Posted by: mikewhite 4.Feb.2011, 07:34 PM

So, no 'Waldorf in a nutshell' from anyone ...

Not being lazy, just that you can't read big sites on a phone, plus would have thought with all this interest, someone could have said in few sentences what the big deal was.

Oh well, I'm not ungrateful.

Posted by: roodkapje 5.Feb.2011, 12:43 AM

As the teacher moves (year after year)with the child (ideally) the school is so good as the teacher. If you have a good one it can be very nice, if the teacher is not suitable things become difficult. I choose the school in the first instance because I worked many years in a waldorf residential setting. My child was in a Waldorf school and it has been a positive experience, I took him out last year when his teacher left and the school was very disorganised. I have to say that I am very impressed with the local primary, my child has special needs. Go and visit any school you want your child to go to, there are good Waldorf schools and disorganised ones. Do not forget to check out the local school!

Posted by: soultraveler3 5.Feb.2011, 04:24 AM

Here's a link mikewhite.

http://www.waldorfanswers.com/Waldorf.htm

I have many friends whose children went to Waldorf schools. The children seem, in general, to be more confident and mature than their peers that attended a traditional school. Many of them also were accepted into ivy league universities. It seems to be a pretty sound philosophy.

Posted by: texaslass 5.Feb.2011, 09:50 AM

If you are moving to Stockholm, there is Kristofferskolan in Bromma. Send me a PM if you want more information.

Posted by: Puffin 5.Feb.2011, 10:00 AM

QUOTE (roodkapje @ 5.Feb.2011, 12:43 AM) *
As the teacher moves (year after year)with the child (ideally) the school is so good as the teacher. If you have a good one it can be very nice, if the teacher is not suitable things become difficult. I choose the school in the first instance because I worked many years in a waldorf residential setting. My child was in a Waldorf school and it has been a positive experience, I took him out last year when his teacher left and the school was very disorganised. I have to say that I am very impressed with the local primary, my child has special needs. Go and visit any school you want your child to go to, there are good Waldorf schools and disorganised ones. Do not forget to check out the local school!

In Sweden it is prety common for the teacher to move with the kids for 3-4 years of primary school in state schools - great if you get a good one but hell on earth if you get a bad one

I looked at a Waldorf school for my child who is autistic - but decided in the end not to do it as my child need more structure that Waldorf offers - also the Waldorf residential school for autistic children has been threatened with losing their licence for child abuse

Posted by: byke 5.Feb.2011, 10:44 AM

One thing I did notice when I went to a Steiner school was all the parents seem to get along well.
Almost as if it was the parents who got something out of it, rather than the kids.

The class I was in, a boy was pushed to the ground by another boy and when in submission the boy left standing decided to stamp on the other boys head (Unprovoked) ... resulting in severe head trauma and a long stretch in the hospital. Luckily the boy who did it, was suspended for 3 days and came back after he "learnt his lesson" while the other boy spent months in hospital rehabilitation (I dont know if he ever really recovered).

I myself was attacked (rather strong words since I fought back) after a school teacher from a Waldorf school spotted me on the way home from school wearing headphones while on a bus. I was literally approached without warning by this school teacher who I had no idea was a teacher (he was actually the headmaster) (I didnt know of him) and without provocation he ripped the headphones from my head pulled me by my hair out of my seat and broke my walkman. It wasn't a case of myself being a disturbing or annoying child (at the time) since the walkman I was wearing wasn't switched on, and the headphones where not on my head but instead wrapped around my neck and laying on my shoulders)(I was quietly minding my own business by myself at the time) I was obviously shocked and the next day I received a letter home stating I had broken school rules and if I was caught carrying a portable music device outside of school I would be suspended pending investigation to whether I should be expelled.

I have nothing good to wright about my experiences of Waldorf schools.
As I have stated before it usually tracts either the most f'cked up kids, or f'ked up parents.

And just for the record, when I attended a Waldorf school ... football was banned at break or lunch times as it was "too dangerous". So instead they handed all these mental f'ked up kids large wooden land hockey sticks and a wooden ball. Personally I dont think it was because it was too dangerous, but simply it didn't follow Rudolphs vison back in the 1800's and these nut jobs decided to follow it to the letter and restrict children's playtime.

I have so many stories from my 2 or 3 months I spent there ... its impossible to write all of the weird stuff that went down ... it was like St Trinians meets the Stepford wives in a middle class setting.

And while I know it serves a purpose for parents or kids who have issues, given the changes to the schools in sweden I cant see what value they hold now in regards to unqualified teachers and a education system that clearly goes against the vision that the Waldorf sells itself on.

http://www.thelocal.se/13944/20080826/

QUOTE
Stockholm University has decided to wind up its Steiner-Waldorf teacher training. Steiner science literature is 'too much myth and too little fact', the university's teacher education committee has ruled.

"The courses did not encompass sufficient subject theory and a large part of the subject theory that is included is not founded on any scientific base," Stockholm University wrote in a statement on Monday.

The decision has been criticized by a group of professors in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet.

"The decision is a direct threat to Sweden's 105 Steiner-Waldorf schools and pre-schools. 7,000 pupils will be taught by teachers without qualifications in Steiner pedagogy."

The authors described the decision as "a sign of the times" brought about by the Bologna process - a process of standardization of education and courses across the EU.

Stefan Nordlund, the dean of Stockholm University's faculty of natural sciences, has defended the decision.

"The syllabus contains literature which conveys scientific inaccuracies that are worse than woolly; they are downright dangerous."

Stockholm University has previously offered a four-year full-time teacher training in Steiner-Waldorf education, which has been state-funded since 2002. The course has been conducted in cooperation with the Rudolf Steiner College in Bromma and the Stockholm Institute of Education.

The Stockholm Institute for Education has, since January 1st 2008, been a part of Stockholm University and the Steiner-Waldorf teacher training the responsibility of the faculty of natural sciences, as with all other teacher training courses.

The courses and literature have been discussed and reviewed by the faculty "in the customary manner" in the spring and the faculty's findings were forwarded to the education committees of the faculty and the university.

The university's teacher education committee decided on June 4th against approving all the teacher training courses included in the Steiner-Waldorf education.

"The committees do not criticize the Waldorf pedagogy in itself, but the literature which does not meet the university's scientific standards," Stockholm University rector Kåre Bremer wrote on his blog on Monday.

The decision means that the courses can not continue and all those accepted to courses beginning in the autumn have been offered alternative education. Students that have already begun their courses will be able to complete their teacher training.

Professor in pedagogy Bo Dahlin, one of the authors of the Svenska Dagbladet debate article, has criticized Sweden for not being as broad minded as its Scandinavian neighbours.

"It is remarkable that we in Sweden are unable to allow other perspectives. In Norway and Finland the state has long since financed the education of Waldorf teachers."

The Rudolf Steiner College is now faced with a choice: to approach another seat of learning with whom to cooperate or to apply to the National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) for its own examination licence.

Posted by: mikewhite 5.Feb.2011, 11:15 AM

Blimey !
As I said in the othe school thread, just goes to show that the parents should visit the school during a normal day to see how it works and get a feel for the atmosphere, see how the children get on with each other.
And don't choose a school just by the ideology of its founder.
Variety of experience in a stable environment, with experienced and well-qualified staff is what you are aiming for, rather than just a certain 'brand' of school, which as byke says, does not guarantee any of the above.
Perhaps with ASD children you might want to ensure a continuity of approach ...

Posted by: amy boswood 5.Feb.2011, 10:56 PM

hi smile.gif

I dont have to any experience of steiner schools in sweden but i did go to a steiner school in england and i really really loved it. I had a very happy time there and I have many fond memories of my teachers, lessons, school trips, everything really, especially my class mates, I am still very close to them 10 years after leaving. Do you send your children to steiner school in the UK? I think as many have said before that it really depends on the teacher, also I think it depends on your child, my brother was very happy at a uk state school, steiner wouldnt have been right for him. When I have children I intend to send them to a steiner school at least up to class 8.

best of luck with your possible move! send me a private message if you would like to meet for coffee when you visit move to Sweden

Amy

Posted by: mikewhite 5.Feb.2011, 11:15 PM

Well Amy, it's a big country !

Posted by: amy boswood 5.Feb.2011, 11:18 PM

yes i forget that it isnt just stockholm!!

Posted by: mikewhite 6.Feb.2011, 08:58 AM

But I loved the way you were thinking: ooh, if you are (anywhere) in Sweden, do pop in for a coffee ! How sociable !

Posted by: englishlassie 6.Feb.2011, 09:39 PM

Wanted to thank you for your replies. And thank you Amy for your kind offer - I may well take you up on that if we move to Sweden. I take it you are in Stockholm? smile.gif My kids do go to a Waldorf school now and I think it would make moving easier if they attended a similar school. But I do realise the school is only as good as the teachers. Which is why I am asking about experiences here. smile.gif

I am sorry to hear about your experience byke - but the headphones thing would never happen in our school, and they do take injuries seriously. I did not think Waldorf schools had headteachers though?? We are lucky to have a great school locally, and realise they are a little hit and miss. smile.gif

Posted by: byke 6.Feb.2011, 10:20 PM

Dont forget I was part of an 80's child ... and we had different schools in the 80's, back in the UK.
Are there Waldorf based bi-lingual or international run schools in Sweden? or do you plan on getting them straight into a Swedish language environment?

You hit the nail on the head in regards to every school is different.
But remember the curriculum is the same (in Sweden due to law) unless you go fully private.

Also remember that Sweden is very liberal (I sound like a yank now) and education levels in sweden is an average of 1 to 2 years behind the UK and European standard (since they also start school later in Sweden) So this can be a benefit or hinderance depending on what school you attend and what you hope s best for your children.

But again, what it all boils down to is the individuality of the school.
As they change with the seasons based on staff and children coming and going.

Posted by: Guest 16.Mar.2011, 05:19 PM

QUOTE (Puffin @ 5.Feb.2011, 09:00 AM) *
I looked at a Waldorf school for my child who is autistic - but decided in the end not to do it as my child need more structure that Waldorf offers - also the Waldorf residential school for autistic children has been threatened with losing their licence for child abuse

I know this post is a bit old. I just like to underline the point been made in this previous post. If you have a autistic child you should think twice if you consider the Rudolf Steiner school. I was recommended it, because they have a holistic approach to autism. They do have a very different approach to autism. So different that they think they know better than the psychiatrist who diagnosed my daughter. Even though they have had very little experience with it.
An example is that she is recommended structure. Steiner focuses on free play - a lot. The kids develop through free play. And that is probably true when it comes to "normal" kids, but for autistic kids, this free play can be very stressfull. My daughters teacher shows very little understanding for this. My daughter gets bullied almost everyday. She tries to walk away from it, but they chase her. If the teacher sees it, she explains to my daughter why she gets bullied...
Needless to say Im looking for a better school.

I know this is one particular case, and autistic children are also different. I talked with the psychiatrist about Steiner schools, and she says - your kid actually have to be very high functioning and independent, otherwise they are lost in these schools.

Posted by: Guest 20.Mar.2013, 01:08 AM

checking in...any updates, did you choose waldorf and if so are you happy? We are moving across the globe partly to get back to my swedish family and partly to be able to afford waldorf for our kids, as its very expensive where we live now!! we are applying to the ones in stockholm and hope to get our oldest in this fall!!

Posted by: Puffin 20.Mar.2013, 01:09 PM

There is a Swedish Federation of Waldorf schools that lists the schools affiliated to the federation - although not all are
http://www.waldorf.se/

Posted by: Puffin 20.Mar.2013, 01:12 PM

QUOTE (Haparanda @ 16.Mar.2011, 05:19 PM) *
I know this post is a bit old. I just like to underline the point been made in this previous post. If you have a autistic child you should think twice if you consider the Rudolf Steiner school. I was recommended it, because they have a holistic approach to autism. They do have a very different approach to autism. So different that they think they know better than the psychiatrist who diagnosed my daughter. Even though they have had very little experience with it.
An example is that she is recommended structure. Steiner focuses on free play - a lot. The kids develop through free play. And that is probably true when it comes to "normal" kids, but for autistic kids, this free play can be very stressfull. My daughters teacher shows very little understanding for this. My daughter gets bullied almost everyday. She tries to walk away from it, but they chase her. If the teacher sees it, she explains to my daughter why she gets bullied...
Needless to say Im looking for a better school.

I know this is one particular case, and autistic children are also different. I talked with the psychiatrist about Steiner schools, and she says - your kid actually have to be very high functioning and independent, otherwise they are lost in these schools.

The residential Waldorf school for autistic boys has been reported several times for excessive physical force and punishment used against pupils

However my child is now flourishing in a highly academic free school

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